Thursday, October 8, 2015
End Game, The Zombie Wars
Isn’t it ironic the beginning of the end of mankind would happen on Friday the 13th? A news brief came out of the darkest part of Liberia Africa that a hunting party had burst from the bush in hysteria claiming that three members on the hunt had gone mad. Dated the 16th of May on CNN; taking in account the delay in reporting and transmission, it makes the date sit straight smack dab on the 13th; Friday the 13th.
At first I laughed it off dismissed it as one of my guesses that never really go anywhere. I knew better, I sat still for a few minutes thinking about it and what I knew; shaking my head a dread fell over me knowing very well the Ebola crisis had made the turn. I’d been expecting it but I really didn’t think it would happen so fast. The Ebola outbreak had run its course. Then after two months with no new cases a couple people had sprung up out of nowhere with Ebola again, then it died down again. All the high paid Doctors and scientists worried that Ebola would turn into some type of flu like strain; becoming airborne passing from one person to another; not at all what I was concerned about.
I’d done a lot of study on this type of pathogen and with the incubation period being so incredibly short I was concerned that the disease would make the leap to hours/minutes not days as it so far had been. The other worry I had was the disease in its natural state made the sick lethargic in past cases. With the news that stricken members of the hunting party had gone mad and attacked the remaining members made me sit straight backed with concern; this was a whole new game.
Information after the initial news reports became sketchy in the next few hours and then came a video from TmTV News12 from Johannesburg. Two reporters sitting on top of a five story building videoing the street below showed the new sickness sweeping through the city. They captured the wave of the sickened as it swept through the mobs of people along the street below. People ran over the tops and between the stalled cars running away from the growing roar of madness. As the sound intensified on the video you could see a wall of running crazed people jumping on the backs of those sprinting in front of them; falling rolling piling up in two’s and three’s then springing up and continuing the chase after leaving those fallen with throats ripped out. The undead just sprang up from the killing and continued running showing no signs of fatigue or injury from fighting and killing those they had caught. Those who made the choice to try finding refuge in their cars were surrounded by masses of the sickened; windows were broken out.
The video panned in close on the piles of bodies taken down by the attackers, they lay twisted and crumpled on the pavement where they’d fallen pools of blood covered every inch of pavement. Before the camera moved away the newly dead began to twitch, flail rolling around on the pavement; setting up they’d howl like wolves jump to their feet spinning in a circle finding the direction of the running hoard they’d join the mass of undead chasing the living.
The camera scanned right following the onslaught then pitched down showing the undead climbing the side of the building towards the news crew. Some fell backwards landing on undead on the sidewalks, others crawled over those clinging to bricks and window casings using them as footholds. The camera backed away from the edge as a reporter screamed “zombies, their zombies” a wave of the undead flew over the roof railings.-
I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but those that know me always want me on their team when it finally gets down and dirty. I seem to be able to think outside the box when things get testy; I think my time to shine has come.-
I was looking at property in the outer limits of the dingy down town area; I needed one of those older buildings that you can get for cents on the dollar since everyone has moved out of the inner city. I had just found what I was looking for in a three story stone and brick building constructed in the late forties sitting alone, a short distance from the other buildings. It built when it was cliques to build in the old style with brick, stone and steel.
The first floor was planned to house a business with one large display window across the entire front; entrance door squeezed against the left wall. The left and right sides of the first floor were smooth brick, clear of windows or doors expecting buildings to be built right up against the existing buildings walls. One small door fed the rear of the building giving access to the alleyway, wasn’t a single window opening that direction either; perfect. The second floor was made for storage only, a large open space with no windows; the third floor was for a single family, living quarters having widows facing both front, side and towards the rear of the building broken up into a small three room apartment. It was the perfect building for what was fast approaching.
I signed the papers immediately and paid the full asking price; I knew, yes I knew I’d never make a payment.
I contacted three contractors in the area and had all three working on the new building in five days at a fevered pitch. The plan was very simple, close off the first floor display window and door with cement, blocks and rebar.
The first floor rear door into the alley was reinforced with concrete and steel; a vestibule of heavy wire set within a cage of steel posts cemented into the black top covered top and both sides of the door opening out ten feet and five feet wide protected the door; the vestibule cage ended with another door of heavy wire set in concrete.
I had the third floor windows covered with heavy weaved wire like tight spider webs and the casings reinforce with steel welded to the building steel framing. The roof edges were sealed off with heavy wire fencing then eight feet of no climb fencing laying flat at a 90 degree angle to the roof protruding out from the side of the building. You might be able to climb the side of the building but it would be nearly impossible to reach out the eight feet of no climb fencing and grab the edge and pull yourself up and over onto the top of the fencing covering the roof. The roof door was heavily reinforced with concrete and steel with extra heavy wire fencing closing it off leaving a large area about fifteen by twenty of fenced in area sectioning it off the rest of the fortified roof.
I had the contractor smooth the sides of the building with light concrete filling in crevasses between stone and brick making it smooth; impossible to climb. I’ve never heard such crying as the crews complained of the hard work hanging off of the scaffolding; I promised huge bonuses and threw the guys a few twenties to quiet them down.
All three floors were separated with heavy steel doors at the stair opening; closing one floor off from the one below.
The first floor was mostly taken up by shelving for storage; the rear area was closed off and housed a generator powered by a small diesel engine with a single five hundred gallon tank hidden in the ground just behind the building between fences. The exhaust pipes I had run up to the roof through the interior of the building and huge mufflers clamped in place to quiet them down; you couldn’t hear them fifty feet from the building. I had the building rewired to a 12 volt system and installed a couple solar panels on top of the highest point of the roof over the stairway roof and door going out onto the roof. Next to the diesel engine I had six huge 6 volt batteries wired together making the 12 volt system. I could now have power completely off the grid.
The contractor said it would never fly with the city but I wasn’t too concerned with building codes and money talks when permits are nonexistent. During the second week of construction a city building inspector stopped by and wanted to see my permits. I told him a bunch of bull shit and he with a smile on his face handed me a stop work order and walked to his car. The stop work order blew in the wind as I slowly shredded it in my hands as he disappeared around the nearest corner.
Three weeks it was done with the addition of a hardened garage port along the South side; a stroke of genius is what I was thinking when it came to me at 2:30am one morning that if I wanted to bug out I’d better have a vehicle that wasn’t covered in the undead when I might need it. Biggest problem was how to make an addition to the side of the building that didn’t allow the zombies to climb up over it and use the roof to get higher up on my building sides. I decided that the only way to stop possible climbing would be to have the roof run at a steep angle to the side of the building; 60 degrees or steeper would stop most climbing. I had them install smooth metal roofing without the normal ribs most metal roofing used for extra strength. I didn’t want any hand holds available for climbing and since the carport was only twelve feet wide the roof at the steep angle only reached midway on the second floor side where it attached to the building. I also had them use round topped screws instead of the normal flat topped that might be used as a foot hold.
I lay there in my new building the first night thinking I’ve never really had a job; working for someone else just didn’t work out for me most of the time. The bosses I had never seemed to have the vision to see the things that I see; they mostly think my ideas aren’t worth pursuing or considering, but I’ve always been an idea kind of guy, I watch trends then make a few bucks getting in on the ground floor until they die off, then I sit back and watch for the next thing as it comes to life; it keeps my bank account happy and I just can’t get up every morning and drive into a real job. I think it’s going to really pay off this time.-
I called Safeway and asked if they could deliver a big order. The manager was more than happy and didn’t even ask too many questions about case after case of food stuffs delivered and stacked on the first floor shelving. I’d forgotten about water knowing the city water would stop flowing within days but between selves and corner areas I managed to store hundreds of gallons of bottled water. I think I’m ready to set back and watch what happens. I don’t think it’s gonna be pretty.
I kind of figured it’d come quickly but I had no idea. By the time the Fed’s decided that there really was a problem the skies were filled with sick people trying to escape doom. They closed down the airports as they filled up with zombies. Army troops laid down thousands of rounds of bullets cutting zombies in pieces just to have what was left crawling forward biting soldiers making more zombies. When the zombies hit the big cities it spread like lightening, millions on millions of zombies searched for fresh meat. The government fell in three days; the last hold outs on TV claiming that they now held Office and everything would be ok. It was startlingly to see them run down and killed on live TV as the nation watched. It grew as an unstoppable wave from the East to the West coast, one city after another swept under the hoard. TV, facebook, even Twitter stopped as the zombie wave laid waste.
The very last radio station I could find went dead as the host preached and screamed damn nation upon the zombie curse and had his throat ripped out while still yelling bible quotes.
I was alone; with the exception of the thousands of zombies that surrounded my small building. There was a sea of the undead in rings surrounding the base of my little building. Zombies stood and starred towards my building from adjacent buildings; some ran and jumped from roof tops trying to span the distance between buildings landing amongst the growing thong of undead. The closest to the base of the building scratched and clawed trying to get a hold to climb the building walls. I could see the broken and twisted fingers and white bones as they fought for a hold but they sled back down into the gleaming faces below.
I thought early on I’d yell or wave to them for sport but they’d start piling up against the building base in a cone of zombies stacking on top on one another then rolling down but the stack would grow taller pilling up until the stack would tip and fall down just to start up again with one zombie climbing the back of another on the back of another. A dangerous game to play I stopped fearing they’d build a tower of zombies covering my building from top to bottom.
I found if I let them be and caused no ruckus the hoard would tone down and each zombie would go into a state of rest. They’d stand still and calm but every couple of minutes or so the whole swarm would shake and make a growling sound then go back into their state of slumber; it’d start way out and move like a wave through them until it hit my building and pasted by continuing as far as I could see. I found it nearly impossible to sleep without ear plugs by the systematic roar of unrest amongst the zombies in their resting state.
Sitting under cover out of sight on the roof observing the zombie hoard I noticed that a few individuals did not follow the systematic movements of the other sleeping zombies. They would stand still and then push forward between the packed zombies towards the building base each and every time the zombies would rouse in their sleep mode; I saw maybe fifteen with this trait as they slowly moved towards my building.
The first special zombie that weaved his way to the base of my building stopped, looked up the building and then found a stone under foot and begin to tap the side of the building, as the zombie hoard would rouse every couple minutes he’d hit the cement with the stone harder. After an hour or so he was really pounding the wall. I watched as a few more of the special ones, unscripted ones made their way to the base of my building and start up with the tapping then turning it into pounding. Two hours of this and I could actually see damage being done to the light cement that I’d had installed to stop possible climbing; they were pounding the no climb cement off the building.
I ran down stairs grabbing one of my rifles bringing it up to the roof; looking though the scope I quickly found one of the unscripted zombies in my cross hairs. Having the rifle sighted in for one hundred yards I had to hold high since the yardage between me and the zombie nearly straight down and no more than thirty yards without having any need to compensation for angle or gravity. I had no idea what the effect would be on the sleeping zombies but felt that I had to see what the results of shooting one of the unscripted zombies would be on the assault on the base of the building. Pulling very slightly on the trigger I was shocked by the huge explosion as the rifle fired the bullet down and into the head of the unscripted zombie. The recoil of the rifle pushed my eye back and away from the scope, I was able to see the the rippling effect the gun shot report had on the sleeping zombies. It was like dropping a stone into a smooth pool of water the outward racing wave rippling effect was like a huge wave through the sleeping zombies shocking them to alert of fresh meat. They immediately pushed forwards climbing on each other’s backs pilling up against the walls of the building. Within seconds they were stacked beyond the first floor and the top of the pile was teetering midway of the second floor. I had to retreat to the protected door way as the pile reached the third floor roof extended wire. Before escaping into the third floor door I saw the pile lean towards the left and fall into its self just before grasping the out stretched wire of the third floor. I close call.
I stood in the doorway thinking I’d just missed having zombies on the roof when I saw a flash from two buildings down on the fifth floor of a six story building; it was followed by a huge bang from a large bore rifle. I dove on the floor getting out of the way of the bullet; realizing that no bullet had tore into my roof area I slowly made my way over to the roof edge and looked down. The zombie swarm all turned looking towards where the gun shot had come from. They slowly started moving in that direction looking for the fresh meat that had made the bang. As they moved away from the base of my building I could see that there were now two dead zombies side by side at the base. Whoever had made the shot had killed another one of the unscripted zombies that had been banging on my walls. I waved in that direction and with both hands up with palms facing towards the building down the street holding the rifle up between forearms I looked through the scope and was looking directly into the face of a person with binoculars looking at me. I pulled the rifle down and waved like a mad man at the other person. I put the rifle scope back up and the man was pointing down towards the bottom of his building. I scanned down and five floors down I could see five or six unscripted zombies working on his defenses. I gave him the fist pumping up and down motion and placed my sights on the hardest working zombie and pulled the trigger.
We worked on the unscripted zombies for the rest of the afternoon clearing close to fifty of them off his and my walls. The hoard turned one way and then the other confused where the fresh meat was located as we shot time and time again giving just enough time between shots to get them all turned around and moving in the right direction before shooting and having them all turn around again. As the light faded we both waved at each other and let the zombies quiet down for the evening.
The sun was just coming up when I heard a rifle shot. I ran to the roof top with my rifle and as many boxes of shells as I could carry. I raised my scope to my friend’s window; he was looking at me through the field glasses and pointing up. I scanned up from his window and saw hundreds of zombies on his roof just one floor above his. Zombies were climbing down the fire escape ladders and along pipes running to the roof. Somehow they’d gotten on his roof and he had little to no defensives between him and the roof. I played my scope back on him and he was pointing towards me and giving me the shush sigh with his index finger over his mouth. I waved at him that I understood. He picked up his rifle and shot the closest zombies off his building then threw the rifle down at the crowded zombies at the base of his building. He waved a quick goodbye and stepped through his door into the building. Two minutes later I heard a whoosh sound and the windows blew out of his floor as flames shot from the windows catching a bunch of zombies on fire as they made their way towards his porch. I watched as hundreds of zombies jumped from the roof in flames as the entire building went up in clouds of black smoke and bellowing fire; he’d taken a few hundred of them with him as they overran his building.
I always try to be upbeat, even with the end of mankind I’ve kept a pretty good attitude keeping myself busy with figuring out my next move and improving my building defensives. But sitting the rest of the day watching the building burn I couldn’t but lose hope that I’d ever leave this building unless it was as a zombie or as they carried my “for real dead body” from it. As I closed the heavy roof door my last look at the burning building I noted that it was now burning all the way to the ground floor and the zombies had backed away as burning remnants fell from above having to push back against the crowded packed zombies behind them as the flames burned closer; crowds work the same with zombies and it does with live people.
I woke up at about six and climbed the stairs to the roof to see how far the building had burned over night. As I walked to the roof edge the first thing I noticed is that there wasn’t a zombie in sight. I circled the entire roof; no zombies in sight anywhere. The building down the street still gushed out thick clouds of black smoke but it was internal fires burning and I couldn’t see any flames from my roof top.
It’s been five days now without seeing a single zombie; there are still scores of dead zombies where we’d shot them and hundreds of burnt zombies ringed the base of the burnt out building down the street, but not one moving zombie to be seen.
I’ve decided to put a single 12 volt light bulb at the top highest solar panel on my roof; it should be able to be seen from a long distance but not if you’re too close to the base of the building. I’m dedicating it to my friend that gave his life to get the unscripted zombies off my building and as a beacon to anyone else that maybe out there.
It didn’t take long; sitting on the roof in the late afternoon sun basking in the last few days of nice weather before fall would hit I couldn’t but instantly notice a flashlight shining from the building across the street at the same level as where I had been sitting directly into my eyes. I jumped to my feet and waved but quickly gave the silent jester that I’d been given by my friend such a short time ago. From the shadows a figure stepped forward into the faint light illuminating enough to see it was a beautiful woman of maybe five and a half feet tall with flowing red hair falling to just below her shoulders. On each side was a small child clinging to her waist; a boy and a girl. She had two rifles and what had to be a shotgun slung over her shoulders and the shotgun at port arms slightly pointed in my direction. It was clear she wasn’t taking any chances.
This building faced towards the rear of my building where I had secured my back door with a heavy wired in vestibule between it and an outer door and my building. I motioned down towards that door and pantomimed a half hour; she slowly shook her head yes clearly worried she was making a mistake.
I had to question myself if I was the one making the mistake; was I opening my door to be killed by a beautiful woman taking no chances with the safety of her and her children. I ran down the stairs two at a time and stood at the rear door waiting as I waited for my wristwatch to count down to the thirty minute mark. I threw the multiple locks and ram bars off the heavy steel door and stood so just part of my body would show to the outside through the tangle of heavy wire of the vestibule area. I quickly peeked out the door both ways to make sure no zombies had somehow snuck back to my building and were now planning their attack. Across the narrow alleyway a door directly across from my door slowly opened and the woman stuck her head out slowly looking both ways before looking me in the eyes. I shook my head yes slowly and stepped out into the open vestibule about two feet showing her I had no weapons on me. She looked me over and stepped back into the building; I took an involuntary step back into the doorway behind me looking for cover. She stepped into the doorway again but this time with both children clinging to her and weapons slung over her shoulders. I jumped out into the vestibule and looking both ways ran to the outer wire door fighting to find the correct keys. I motioned her to stay where she was and gave the just a second motion. Getting the keys into the multiple locks as quietly as I could she stood patiently waiting as all the chains and locks came open. I swung the heavy wire gate open and waved to hurry; she crossed the alleyway in an instant the children not taking their eyes off of me. I whispered to her to get the children inside and secured all the chains and locks. She was waiting just inside of the building door with tears running down her beautiful face in steams. I with numb lips asked her to take the children up to the third floor as I locked all the locks on the outer door and checked everything twice.
She was sitting on one of the couches bear hugging the two children when I finally had checked that I’d made the building secure again. Her shot gun was leaned up against the couch at the ready. I walked in past her and the kids into the kitchen area; poured her a glass of red wine and two glasses of cool aid for the kids. Handing the glasses out we all had rivers of tears running down our faces; I only asked her if they were hungry.
It’s been three weeks and no one else has contacted us; we are becoming a family as we talk out what has happened and told our stories of survival and loss of loved ones. Trust is a slow thing to build with four people that have been so traumatized by the world.
With four mouths to feed it won’t be long before we have to venture out in search of more food so our danger levels will be going up shortly, but we live for the minute and the next hour at a time in this new world and hope for the best.
From the Ramblings.